May 2004

Damien Elmes’ blog

May 1, 2004 - Categories: geek

E-Mail from Damien Elmes

Nethack live floppy disk

May 1, 2004 - Categories: -Uncategorized

Description: This is a one floppy disk live system to play nethack
on any PC you may encounter but be unable to install nethack on.
Play nethack at work, school, university or at your friends place
without leaving a trace. Savegames are kept on the floppy as far as
the 227k free space will bring you.

E-Mail from Yashichi


May 3, 2004 - Categories: -Uncategorized

Downloaded from . It’s a Yahoo Group archiver
and perfect for my needs, although I needed to tweak the Perl script a
little as Yahoo changed their format.

Picture from Monty Python Day

May 5, 2004 - Categories: -Uncategorized

2004/05/01: Monty Python Day

Blogged by Marcelle and Peppy .

Details for meeting

May 5, 2004 - Categories: -Uncategorized

May 5, 2004, 8 to 10pm, 2502-B Alfox Office, Tektite East, Ortigas Center

MARIE 09185344715 annmariemarie [YM handle]
DIANA 09185132813 dianabl2000 [YM handle]

E-Mail from AnnMarie Amarga


May 6, 2004 - Categories: -Uncategorized

All the commands documented in tla help can be completed using
../emacs/vc-arch/pcmpl-arch.el, a programmable completion module
for the arch version control system. I’m getting the hang of pcomplete
now… =)

Objects-First Java with BlueJ

May 6, 2004 - Categories: -Uncategorized

My talk at the PinoyJUG session yesterday was about teaching Java the
objects-first way. I expected an audience of mostly Java instructors
and looked forward to sharing what I’d learned for my first year of
teaching. However, almost all the attendees were professionals taking
up Java. S’okay; made do. Dominique and Eric were there—yay!

I had problems with my resolution in the beginning. Fortunately,
Dominique brought his laptop. I transferred the PDF there and went
through the slides. I couldn’t demonstrate BlueJ on his computer,
though. I thought about booting to Windows XP, but apparently I’d lost
that part of my GRUB config, and my computer was set up to quickly
boot into Linux. However, disabling the resolution compensation before
X started resulted in a nice 800×600 projected screen.

I still talk too fast. This time, though, my slides were neatly
organized. Must remember to put dramatic pauses into the script…

My presentation can be found at ../presentations/java .

Neko’s back!

May 6, 2004 - Categories: -Uncategorized

She’s still rather annoyed, though.

Jigger Escario

May 6, 2004 - Categories: -Uncategorized

Dominique introduced me to Jigger Escario, one
of his friends from IBM and Cebu. He’s Liam’s cousin and the former
dean of the Cebu Institute of Technology. Over dinner, I whizzed
through my objects-first presentation and we talked about IT
education. They also experienced low retention rates (theirs is much
lower at 15%, while ours is around ~70%) and the drastic drop in
enrollment. Apparently, CIT draws students from Mindanao. Students
from Cebu tend to go to San Carlos or to Manila.

Jigger no longer teaches. Right now, he does MIS admin work:
registration and enrollment systems. He used to work at IBM (replaced
Dominique at e-commerce).

Cherry’s interested in natural language processing and machine
translation of Bisaya.

BLEAH. Flash website. Well, he _is_ Flash-certified, after all, but it
would’ve been nice to browse through it in w3m.

NLP conference

May 8, 2004 - Categories: -Uncategorized

The De La Salle University – College of Computer Studies (DLSU-CCS)
cordially invites you to The 2nd National Natural Language Processing
(NLP) Research Symposium on May 18 to 19, 2004. This 2-day forum
highlights recent NLP researches at DLSU-CCS, including areas on
natural language understanding, natural language generation, dialog
systems, machine translation, and knowledge acquisition.

The invited speaker is Professor Robert Dale, the Director of the
undergraduate program in Language Technology and the Director of the
Centre for Language Technology of Macquarie University, Australia. He
is also Director of Language Technology Pty Ltd, a consultancy that
provides services in speech and language processing.

Professor Dale is author or editor of five books and has published at
least 60 papers in various aspects of natural language processing. His
current research interests include low-cost approaches to intelligent
text processing tasks, practical natural language generation, the
engineering of habitable spoken language dialog systems, and
computational, philosophical and linguistic issues in reference and
anaphora. He is editor of Computational Linguistics, the field’s most
prestigious journal, and serves on the editorial boards of the Journal
of Natural Language Engineering, the Japanese Journal of Natural
Language Processing, and Machine Translation. He has been Program
Chair for conferences of both the Association for Computational
Linguistics and the International Conference on Spoken Language
Processing, the two premier events in the field.

Professor Dale will be giving lectures on the challenges and future
prospects in NLP, content planning in natural language generation,
building spoken language dialog system, and managing unstructured text
via information extraction.

For more information, please see the attached brochure or refer to:

My classes next sem

May 8, 2004 - Categories: -Uncategorized
CS21A B MW 8:30 – 9:30 F 7:30 – 9:30 F-227
CS21A F MWF 10:30 – 11:30 F-228
CS110 A TTh 9:00 – 10:30 F-227
CS 139.3 A MWF 1:30 – 2:30 M 1:30 – 3:30 CTC214/215

Multiplayer Nethack

May 8, 2004 - Categories: -Uncategorized

Hilarious. You should probably watch Monty Python in order to get the references.

BBspot – DevTeam Releasing Multiplayer Nethack and Counter-Hack Terrorist Mod

Etask: Gantt charts for Emacs

May 10, 2004 - Categories: emacs

Wow, pretty! I should check this out…

Met with Dr. Sarmenta

May 11, 2004 - Categories: -Uncategorized

We talked about CS21A. He’s enthusiastic about the objects-first
approach suggested by BlueJ. I need to prepare the exercises and other
materials so that we can distribute them during the first week of

Talked to Dr. Rodrigo regarding graduate school

May 11, 2004 - Categories: -Uncategorized

If I continue with my MA Education majoring in Information Technology
Integration, I would probably work on

- a wearable system for student information (scan someone’s ID / key

in location, grab all the submissions and notes I have on that

- modeling student mistakes through program analysis and automatically

suggesting corrective exercises

I could also go for an MS CS instead. If I do, then I should take some
theory courses next semester.

I asked Dr. Rodrigo for advice. She is our department chair, after
all, and would know how best to go about this further studies thing. I
was surprised when she frankly told me to consider distance education
if my parents felt uncomfortable about sending me abroad right now.
The Ateneo CS program isn’t meant for people with solid CS
backgrounds, and I’d get much more value out of other courses. She
advised me to take research-oriented courses. If I decide to take MS
courses here, I should go for research- or project-oriented completion
of course requirements.

I’m not too keen on studying in La Salle or UP LB (teaching would be
difficult with that kind of a commute!), so I guess distance education
will have to do—at least until my application elsewhere pushes


May 11, 2004 - Categories: -Uncategorized

Whoops. Surprised to find out that I’m handling the PinoyJUG newbie
track tomorrow (I _hope_ this is in a lab; it’d be insane to do it as
a lecture?). That doesn’t leave me much time for aikido, so I’m going
to try to make it to today’s session instead.

I’ll have to prepare lots of exercises for people tomorrow. They want
practice in if/while/for/arrays, they’ll get that kind of practice…

Getting Things Done, by David Allen

May 12, 2004 - Categories: emacs

Niklas Morberg sent me an e-mail about planner.el support for Dave
Allen’s “Getting Things Done” method. This is the first time I’ve
heard of it, but it’d be nice to see if we can hack planner to support it.

The Coach’s Corner on the
linked site has well-thought articles.

- Keeping Your Inbox “Real”

I archive as much of my mail as possible because it’s easy to search
through information. Creating tasks from e-mail messages allows me to
quickly deal with e-mail associated with actions. I can create vague
tasks and refine them as necessary, although the associated task is
usually clear. Gnus hides old messages, so my Inbox view shows me only
unread messages unless I specifically ask for archives.

I prefer to archive everything instead of making keep/no-keep
decisions for my e-mail. I have false positives (mail that I thought
might be important but which I never referred to again) and false
negatives (mail I hardly looked at, but needed to find afterwards). I
rely on search and filtering tools to quickly pull relevant messages
out of my archive. I think that this is more effective than frequent
review and selection of messages to be kept.

I remember reading a paper about e-mail archiving strategies. I ran a
full-text search for a phrase I remembered from the mail, and I turned
up the PDF that the author sent me. You can look up Richard Boardman’s
paper on “‘Stuff goes into the computer and doesn’t come out’: A
Cross-tool Study of Personal Information Management”—it’s an
informative survey of different e-mail filing techniques.

The GTD method suggests determining what the successful outcomes are
(“projects”), what my next action is and what I am waiting for.
planner.el supports “next action” and “waiting for” with unfinished
and pending tasks. I specify desired outcome in the task description.
I don’t have a concept of “Project” yet, unless you count the plan

- Moving through procrastination easily

Visualizing the expected outcome makes it easier to plan tasks and
overcome procrastination. planner.el has no explicit support for
reminding the user of the positive outcome associated with the task,
but it can be included in the task description or on the linked
project page. A better approach, however, might be to have the
expected outcome show as a tooltip or minibuffer message in order to
provide better positive reinforcement.

John Wiegley’s essay on planning uses top-down stepwise refinement to
break general tasks down into smaller and smaller tasks until they can
be scheduled. This overcomes procrastination by making planning a
semi-mechanical process and simplifying the tasks until they are no
longer intimidatingly complex.

In contrast, the GTD method suggests starting with the immediate next
step—a bottom-up approach. This is similar to the way I use
planner.el, planning one or two tasks in advance. Occasionally,
however, I find it useful to create overview tasks. This gives me an
overview of the entire project and allows me to get a handle on my

- Doing ‘this’ for everything

I’ve used other personal information managers before, but
Emacs+planner+remember makes it easy for me to keep track of my work.
If I think of something to be done, a few keystrokes will put it on my
TODO list.

I capture a lot of information. remember.el makes it easy for me to
create short blog entries linked to the current context and associated
with a date and planner page.

So yes, I do ‘this’ for everything. Being able to reschedule tasks for
future dates means I don’t have to worry about things until then. Of
course, I tend to procrastinate a fair bit (specifying tomorrow with
+1 comes in handy!), but it’s nice to know that I’ll eventually run
into those tasks again. If planner.el reminded me of the benefits of
completing the task, I’ll probably be more motivated to finish them.
(More description text?)

- The “I’ll do it later” Conundrum

Oy, here we go with that procrastination thing. Guilty! Being able to
reschedule tasks does make it all too easy to push things onto a pile
of things to be done later. However, having all these actions floating
around does mean I have no excuse to slack off (unless scheduled in).
This particular essay is a bit on the fluffy side, though.

- What is Organized?

This article points out the need to examine how we work, not just make
superficial changes to our space.

- Having a Complete Inventory of Your Projects

Ah. “Projects” are like plan pages in that they are collections of
tasks. However, plan pages can also be roles or contexts.

planner.el needs a good way to review active projects. Right now,
people can manually maintain a list. However, one needs to visit all
the individual project pages in order to visualize the end results or
see how far one has gotten based on the tasks.

A graph would be nice. It could show only active projects (projects
with at least one unfinished task) or all projects (possibly limited
by date or regexp.) Progress could be measured by ratio of unfinished
tasks to all tasks, or manually indicated by a #progress directive or
some kind of progress marker in each task.

I review tasks every day, but maybe I could also review the end
results every week as part of an accomplishment report. The
accomplishment report could list statistics for tasks finished
(grouped by project) and allow easy viewing of current projects (all
projects mentioned in tasks/notes this week). How can we modify
planner.el to support that?

- The GTD Methodology for Emotionally Charged Relationships

Hmm. Maybe we should phrase our tasks and notes in a positive manner.

- From the FAQ

How can I can remember things that are on my calendar but aren’t time-specific?

Sounds like the problem I have with un-dated tasks. GTD gets around
this by having people review pages based on their context. After going
through all of your day-specific tasks, you can then go through your
context-based action lists to find out what to do next.

Context-based action lists is probably more efficient if most of your
work is guided by context. It can be simulated in planner.el by
associating the tasks with plan pages for each context. However, since
most of my work centers on the computer, I like seeing a list of all
my tasks. I prefer to sit down and plan my day beforehand, rearranging
tasks so that I put similar tasks together. If the opportunity arises,
I can do tasks out of sequence.

I can also use planner.el to see other tasks in the same context. For
example, when I want to do more PlannerMode work, I can just look at
my PlannerMode page to see… a heck of a lot of tasks.

In GTD, day-specifics are tasks that MUST be done on that day. I
prefer having my low-priority tasks still visible, using high-priority
tasks and deadlines in task descriptions to mark the things I should
do by today. Some people plan their tasks the GTD way, though.
Specifying ‘nil’ for a task date allows you to associate it with a
plan page but no date page. Scheduling only day-specific tasks makes
sure you don’t ignore your task list, so I guess that’s a good thing.

How do you handle weekly tasks that are not specific to a particular day of the week?

I assign weekly tasks to a particular day. Makes it easier to get into the rhythm of things.

Most of the day I am dealing with actions I am expected to do. Most of them have a due date. Where should I place my reminder?

Okay, I’m starting to get the hang of the next-action thing. To
support GTD, I’d need a way to get a quick overview of the next-step
tasks as part of the list of active projects. I’d also need to be able
to look at today’s schedule and today’s day-specific task list.

Tech note: It looks like planner.el can be extended to do this by
adding a tag that gets replaced by project outcome and the first task.
The main problem we need to solve is that tasks can appear on more
than two pages. I think this can almost be done with existing tools.
However, planner-copy-or-move-region shouldn’t mess with these tasks.
It’s probably better to create new markup rules for them…

Is it true that David Allen uses the generic Palm Desktop and handheld software, and doesn’t particularly recommend any add-on programs?

I find remember.el an excellent way of tracking events, as it gives me
a historical log as well as a topic-tracked one. I need to find a way
to reassign topics and add multiple topics to a note. This depends on
getting note IDs to work.

Areas of focus vs. someday/maybe

Tech note: Hmm. This sounds like a good candidate for automatic
rewriting. People can manually maintain a list of projects, and have
outcomes and next tasks automatically filled in.

How do you recommend keeping project notes and/or support material?

Ooh, planner hyperlinking is great for that. I keep most of my support
materials in my planner wiki and hyperlink out when I need to refer to
external sources or files on my hard disk.

- How David Allen uses his Palm

Hey, this agenda idea is interesting.

- Weekly Review

Sounds like a good idea too. Hmm. I can page through the week easily,
but it would be nice to have an accomplishment report.

- His personal blog

Semacode – Hyperlinks For The Real World

May 12, 2004 - Categories: -Uncategorized


May 12, 2004 - Categories: -Uncategorized


May 12, 2004 - Categories: -Uncategorized

“Mother? Am I adopted?”

A tiny hand slipped into mine. The moment of truth? Raised her as our
own flesh and blood, but mirrors always told her she was different.

“Kids at school say I’m a freak.”

“No, dear, don’t mind them.” I embraced her, warm skin over cold
metal. Not adopted—assembled from love.

“Fast Food Fiction: Short Stories to Go”

May 12, 2004 - Categories: -Uncategorized

179 pp., Anvil Publishing
edited by Noelle Q. de Jesus

A local anthology of flash fiction. I want. Sixty stories of 500-900
words? The review is mixed, the anthology uneven. Maybe I can learn
from this.

Secret lives behind the bylines – Mar. 15, 2004

55er: “We’re Pregnant”

May 12, 2004 - Categories: -Uncategorized

“Easy does it. Remember that Lamaze class we took? Breathe in, breathe
out. Don’t think of it as a big deal.”

“I’m going to kill you! ARRRGH!”

“Owww! Honey, my hand…”

“At least it’s just your hand. I can think of something
else—ARRRGH—I’d rather crush.”

He winced. “Okay, it _is_ a big deal.”

E-Mail from Irv Pliskin: (Prompts: “Easy does it”, “A big deal”)

emacs-wiki oops

May 12, 2004 - Categories: emacs

As a side-effect of handling tags first in order to deal with nasty
things like <example>, <contents> no longer lists notes.
We will have to find a better way to deal with that.

Link — another 55-word story

May 14, 2004 - Categories: -Uncategorized

Webpages flash through my optic nerves. I flirt with the system.
Guatemala, average rainfall. Pi, 500 digits. Uzbekhistan, capital.
Girl, second row, great legs. Whoops, still connected to the
projectors. Press conference finished, long day over. Gulp sleeping
pills. Hyperlinked terrors drown my eyes. Must escape. Bloodied,
clawed-out eye sockets—but nightmares flood back in.

- In answer to the 2004.03.21 flashxer: “A fleeting thought”.
- Thanks to Baryon for editing.

New RSS feed: Flash fiction

May 14, 2004 - Categories: emacs

My 55-word short stories are now available as an RSS feed at . If you run across
anyone else blogging 55-word fiction, please drop me a note!

RSS feeds: BlogPlannerEducationFlash fiction



May 14, 2004 - Categories: -Uncategorized

We feasted on chicken marsala risotto. The creamy arborio rice tickled
our tongues; the chicken hinted of the best wine. We savored every
dreamy bite.

Afterwards, I put away the full-color cookbooks that fed our
imaginations and helped my mother scrape the last grains of coarse
rice and salt into a bowl for tomorrow’s dinner.

- Another 55er for the 2004.03.09 flashxer “A quick fix”

Sustainable chaos

May 14, 2004 - Categories: -Uncategorized

Sounds like tons of fun.

Sustainable Chaos

Passport details

May 16, 2004 - Categories: -Uncategorized
Version: GnuPG v1.2.4 (GNU/Linux)


Quickbooks Philippines

May 17, 2004 - Categories: -Uncategorized

For my mom:

Modern Business Methods, Inc.,
835 Harvard St., Wackwack Village,
Mandaluyong City, Philippines, 1504

Intuit Worldwide – Philippines

Donna Haraway’s “A Cyborg Manifesto: Science, Technology, and Socialist-Feminism in the Late Twentieth Century”

May 18, 2004 - Categories: -Uncategorized

Simians, Cyborgs and Women: The Reinvention of Nature (New York; Routledge, 1991), pp.149-181.

I don’t understand most of this yet.


Thoughts on natural language processing and possible research

May 18, 2004 - Categories: -Uncategorized

Hmm, needs more thought.

Wearable computing application: memory augmentation (personal
information management, elderly)

problems facing wearable computing (re information

- SPEECH-DRIVEN IMPLICIT QUERIES. A wearable computer can assist

human-human interaction by monitoring keywords in the conversation
and suggesting relevant information, which will be presented in the
background (visual, monophonic audio, spatially-located audio). A
limited-vocabulary speaker-dependent speech engine recognizes names
and keywords associated with personal information management while
the wearer talks to other people. For example, the user might say,
“Let me look at my schedule for Tuesday.” The system will recognize
“TUESDAY” and display a link for this Tuesday’s schedule. The user
can then key in further input or use structured voice commands to
navigate through the data. To avoid confusion with the ongoing
human-human conversation, human-computer interaction should be
structured and clearly separate. (*Note*: I think I want to work on
this for my PhD. Implicit queries for personal information


used to record everything you say so that you can process it later.
The speech stream from a directional microphone includes both
dialogue with the wearable computer and dialogue with other
entities. Online use involves limited-vocabulary speech recognition.
The full speech stream can be stored on the hard disk and tagged on
the fly with markers for later transcription using a
large-vocabulary speech recognition engine. The post-processing of
the text stream can be performed off-line and need not be


retrieval with text summarization is necessary in order to deal with
information overload. Both exact and fuzzy searches need to be
supported. Topics may need to be mapped using an ontology in order
to take advantage of communal knowledge or search through personal
information. Output needs to be summarized; browsing through a
webpage to find an answer is inefficient and requires too much
attention. However, explicit queries against personal data stores
cannot take advantage of the redundancy of the Web, and the
wearable computer will need fuzzy search capabilities. (This is hard!)

Sony Vaio U70

May 18, 2004 - Categories: -Uncategorized

Ooooh, pretty…

My schedule now

May 18, 2004 - Categories: -Uncategorized
M CS21A-B 8:30 9:30 F-227 (lecture)
M CS110-A 10:30 |11:30 CTC215
M CS21A-G 11:30 |12:30 F-228 (mis)
M CS139.3 1:30 4:30
W CS21A-B 8:30 9:30 F-227 (lecture)
W CS110-A 10:30 |11:30 CTC215
W CS21A-G 11:30 |12:30 F-228 (mis)
W CS139.3 1:30 2:30 .
F CS21A-B 7:30 9:30 F-227 (lab)
F CS110-A 10:30 |11:30 CTC215
F CS21A-G 11:30 |12:30 F-228 (mis)
F CS139.3 1:30 2:30 .
F CS21A-A 2:30 4:30 F-227 (lab for Dr. Sarmenta)
T CS110-B 7:30 9:00 F-227
H CS110-B 7:30 9:00 F-227

I’m trying to see if someone else can take CS110-B, so that I don’t
have TTh classes.

Words to review for the GRE

May 18, 2004 - Categories: communication
chary cautious wary
cloture closing device (in Parliament) to end a debate by voting
coeval of the same period coexisting
countervail counterbalance
desuetude cessation of use disuse
edacious voracious devouring
encomium warm or glowing praise eulogy panegyric
epicurean devoted to pleasure (sensuous enjoyment)
expatiate to roam wander freely
expiation ending expiring
exscind to cut out cut away
facetious humorous funny jocular
finical too fussy about food clothing etc.
foment put smth warm (to lessen the pain) (i always thought of this as fomenting rebellion)
froward intractable not willing to yield or comply stubborn
fulmination bitter protest
gaucherie socially awkward tactless behavior
hermetic sealed by fusion (don’t think of mages)
imbroglio complicated and embarrassing situation
inchoate not yet fully formed rudimentary elementary
limn paint portray
lucubrate write in scholarly fashion
luculent easily understood lucid clear
macerate make or become soft by soaking in water
maladroit tactless clumsy
minatory menacing threatening
nostrum a quack remedy an untested cure
nugatory trifling/worthless
obloquy abusively detractive language sharp criticism vituperation
odium contempt dislike aversion
opprobrious showing scorn or reproach
paean song of praise or triumph
palliate lessen the severity of
panegyric formal praise eulogy
peccadillo small sin small weakness in one’s character
peregrination traveling about wandering
picaresque involving clever rogues or adventurers
piquant agreeably pungent stimulating
probity uprightness incorruptibility principle
prolix tiring because too long
propinquity nearness in time or place affinity of nature
provident frugal looking to the future
puissance strength
pusillanimous cowardly craven
quotidian banal everyday
raconteur person who tells anecdotes
recidivism relapse into antisocial or criminal behavior
recondite little known abstruse
recreancy cowardice a cowardly giving up
refractory stubborn unmanageable untractable
repine at be discontented with
restive refusing to move reluctant to be controlled
salubrious healthful
salutary remedial wholesome causing improvement
saturnine gloomy dark sullen morose
sedulous persevering
sententious short and pithy full of maxims/proverbs
sere make hard and without feeling
somatic of the body
turpitude wickedness shamefulness
tyro tiro beginner
virago a loud domineering woman a scold or nag
vitiate lower the quality weaken the strength

Tagalog for aspell

May 19, 2004 - Categories: -Uncategorized

This version of aspell-tl consists of only 9000+ words. These words
were crawled from the web using the software /An Crúbadán/

E-Mail from Ramil Sagum

Emacs-wiki documentation in Japanese

May 20, 2004 - Categories: emacs

A Poor-Aunt Story

May 20, 2004 - Categories: -Uncategorized

Haruki Murakami

Wonderful, thought-provoking story. I’m beginning to see why people
like Murakami.


Debugging Emacs hangs

May 20, 2004 - Categories: emacs

Run emacs in gdb, preferably from the src directory where you compiled emacs:

   $ cd ~/emacs-build/src
   $ gdb ./emacs

[There's a special .gdbinit file in that directory that defines handy emacs
debugging commands.]

When it hangs, hit C-z or something to exit to the debugger (you can’t use
C-c like usual when debugging emacs, because emacs’ standard .gdbinit file
changes gdb’s SIGINT handling to make C-g work properly on ttys).

Then look at a C backtrace (“backtrace”) and lisp backtrace (“xbacktrace”)
to see what’s up.

For more fun, do the above from another emacs session using emacs’ `M-x gdb’

E-Mail from Miles Bader


May 20, 2004 - Categories: -Uncategorized

Allan T. Moster thinks that Bookpool is cool. Said shipping was free.
Not sure if that applies to the Philippines.

Head-First Java on

E-Mail from Allan T. Moster

Graduation — 55er

May 22, 2004 - Categories: -Uncategorized

The valedictorian choked back tears several times during her speech.
The keynote speaker drawled on with great seriousness. My co-teachers
grudgingly paid me for correctly predicting both trite
templates—”graduation is not the end, but the beginning” and “hard
work pays”, respectively. As students fidgeted, waiting for their
turn, I yawned and opened my book.

New pictures

May 23, 2004 - Categories: -Uncategorized

20040522.jpg and 20040523-*.jpg in . Blurry because I was too
shaky to focus.

“Smart Glasses Detect Eye Contact”

May 23, 2004 - Categories: -Uncategorized

Canadian researchers have developed a pair of sunglasses that use infrared
to determine whether someone is making eye contact with the wearer, an
ability that could prove useful in video blogging. One of the glasses’
inventors, Roel Vertegaal of Queen’s University’s Media Lab, says the …

E-Mail from

Darcs wiki

May 23, 2004 - Categories: -Uncategorized

Darcs wiki

E-Mail from Shae Matijs Erisson

Took the TOEFL

May 24, 2004 - Categories: -Uncategorized

Am still somewhat annoyed that I got one of the listening questions
wrong. Max score 297. We’ll see what my actual score is in two to
three weeks.

Main part of test easy. Plenty of time, really. Finished entire test
in two hours. Took all 30 minutes for the essay part.

Research ideas

May 24, 2004 - Categories: -Uncategorized
Blog visualizer

It is useful to see how blog entries and other chronologically
arranged items like e-mail cluster around certain topics over a period
of time.

Your system should produce a graphical view of an RSS or Atom XML feed
containing blog entries (or any other chronological data), optionally
categorized (possibly multiple categories). Categories will be
represented as rows in the table and time will be represented in
columns. See and the
Lifestreams project for ideas.

The system can be split into two parts. One pre-processes the XML
feed, the list of categories, and the time definition, producing
another XML document containing the data in table format. The other
part visualizes the data from the first part. Alternatively, the
entire system could be coded as one component.

The system should support:

- autodetection of categories using the attribute
- categories defined as keyword searches on the entry title and body
- a list of pre-defined categories

A nice plus would be the use of ontologies to map categories onto
other categories. =)

The system can be a standalone application or a web-based application.

Wearable personal information manager

An easy-to-use personal information manager has not yet been developed
for wearable computing use. Wearable computers have limited input and
output capabilities. Notably, mouse use is very limited. Speech
recognition can make accessing personal data such as tasks,
appointments and notes easier and more intuitive, and simplified
interfaces allow users to manipulate personal information even while
walking around.

The system should allow the user to manage tasks, appointments, and
notes. Other functionality can be added as desired.

Your research will integrate a limited-vocabulary speech recognition
engine such as CMU Sphinx with a basic personal information manager.
You may develop a personal information manager from scratch or adapt
existing open-source software. (I maintain a PIM, so I can point you
in the right direction.)

The system should be a standalone application, as network connectivity
may not always be available and the web browser interface is too

The system can be prototyped on desktop computers and targeted either
for heads-up-display+audio (320×240 b/w, synthesized speech) output or
pure audio output.

Random information manager

Develop a random information manager that allows users to store
unstructured text, browse, edit, and assign multiple categories to
them, and produce RSS or Atom feeds based on ‘slices’ of this data
determined by keyword search, chronological bounding, or category
filtering. The system should allow the user to explicitly exclude
certain items from all automatic feeds (private entries) as well as
from particular feeds.

The system can be a standalone application or a web-based application.

Acoustic cryptanalysis for possible cryptographic attacks

May 24, 2004 - Categories: -Uncategorized

Acoustic cryptanalysis –

Link sent by Carlos Sia

“Europe’s Semantic Web Projects Start to Mesh”

May 25, 2004 - Categories: -Uncategorized

The inaugural European Semantic Web Symposium held in Crete brought
together international experts and showcased how semantic Web technology
has moved from research into the mass market realm. W3C Web Ontology
co-chair Guus Schreiber said in his keynote speech that the Resource …

E-Mail from

Open source CMS demos

May 25, 2004 - Categories: -Uncategorized

opensourceCMS ( has demos of content management
systems. (Recent defacement: uncool. Bad karma for whoever did it.)

planner-el development version now available through darcs

May 26, 2004 - Categories: emacs
To get the initial commit:
darcs get -m "Initial commit"

To get succeeding patches:
darcs pull

And then afterwards:
darcs pull

If you want to be picky
darcs pull --interactive

remember-el is also available at

Translation Experiments

May 27, 2004 - Categories: -Uncategorized


Homolinguistic translation: Take a poem (someone else’s then your own) and translate it “English to English” by substituting word for word, phrase for phrase, line for line, or “free” translation as response to each phrase or sentence.

Homophonic translation: Take a poem in a foreign language that you can pronounce but not necessarily understand and translate the sound of the poem into English (i.e. French “blanc” to blank or “toute” to toot). (Cf.: Louis and Celia Zukofsky’s Catullus.) (Rewrite to suit?)

Take one of your response papers, or a found/selected text, and translate it into a half-dozen different critical/methodological styles.

Lexical translation: Take a poem in a foreign language that you can pronounce but not necessarily understand and translate it word for word with the help of a bilingual dictionary. (Rewrite to suit?)

Acrostic Chance. Pick a book at random and use title as acrostic key phrase. For each letter of key phrase go to page number in book that corresponds (a=1, z=26) and copy as first line of poem from the first word that begins with that letter to end of line or sentence. Continue through all key letters, leaving stanza breaks to mark each new key word. (Cf.: Jackson Mac Low’s Stanzas for Iris Lezak.) Variations include using author’s name as code for reading through her or his work, using your own or friend’s name, picking different kinds of books for this process, devising alternative acrostic procedures

Substitution (1): “Mad libs”. Take a poem (or other source text) and put blanks in place of three or four words in each line, noting the part of speech under each blank. Fill in the blanks being sure not to recall the original context.

Substitution (2): “7 up or down”. Take a poem or other, possibly well\x{00AD}known, text and substitute another word for every noun, adjective, adverb, and verb; determine the substitute word by looking up the index work in the dictionary and going 7 up or down, or one more, until you get a syntactically suitable replacement. (Cf.: Clark Coolidge and Larry Fagin, On the Pumice of Morons.)

Substitution (3): “Find and replace”. Systematically replace one word in a source text with another word or string of words. Perform this operation serially with the same source text, increasing the number of words in the replace string.

Tutorials for Java in Eclipse

May 29, 2004 - Categories: -Uncategorized

Ooooooooh. Thanks to Richi for the link! =)

E-Mail from Richard Plana

w000t! Got perfect on my general GRE!

May 31, 2004 - Categories: -Uncategorized

Got 800 on both the verbal and quantitative sections of the general GRE test. Whee!

BlueJ wiki

May 31, 2004 - Categories: -Uncategorized

E-Mail from Davin McCall

Japanese for nerds

May 31, 2004 - Categories: -Uncategorized

Japanese for nerds —

Musical letters

May 31, 2004 - Categories: -Uncategorized

Musical letters —

Joe Corneli’s written an interface to fluidsynth driven by Emacs
typing. Sounds like the sort of multimedia stuff that the MIT Media
Lab and people like Martin Gomez would find interesting.


May 31, 2004 - Categories: -Uncategorized


Tooltip-show the next completion. Hmm, that’s nice.

E-Mail from D. Goel

Indexer for planner notes

May 31, 2004 - Categories: emacs

Just realized that planner-search-notes with a match-all will do perfectly well.
I don’t have to do this yet, then. =)


Double Room: prose poetry and short fiction

May 31, 2004 - Categories: -Uncategorized

Double Room: prose poetry and short fiction —